Cherry blossoms in Japan are worth celebrating, and there’s nothing like a festival atmosphere to enhance the sakura viewing. Many of Tokyo’s top cherry blossom spots host annual festivals for a week or two around mid-bloom (usually falling over two weekends).

Festivals mean food, drinks, and lots of people. Remember, these events will be quieter during the week, if crowds are not your jam.

When are the cherry blossoms blooming in Tokyo? Check out the latest sakura forecast to keep up to date. It can change a lot!

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1. Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival

March 16 to April 7
Ueno Park
Swan boats and food stalls

Cherry blossoms in the foreground and boaters on the lake in Ueno Park in the background
Taking a boat out on the pond is a popular Ueno Park pastime. | Photo by Getty Images

Ueno Park hosts one of the busiest Tokyo cherry blossom festivals, with a boating lake, plenty of food stalls, and of course, lots of cherry trees. There are more than 800 trees to admire, and the ground will be covered with blue picnic tarps for days in advance, so expect crowds and lots of fun.

You can go boating on the large pond either in a swan or traditional rowing boat, and stroll beneath the blossoms while snacking on festival food to your heart’s content.

2. Bokutei (Sumida Park) Cherry Blossom Festival

March 16 to April 7
Sumida Park
Cruises and festive atmosphere

Photo by Sumida City Tourism Association

An excellent place for a hanami party, Sumida Park has over 600 cherry trees between Azumabashi Bridge and Sakurabashi Bridge. The residents of Tokyo have been enjoying the blossoms here for hundreds of years, so you can valiantly carry on the traditions in their honor.

Another time-honored way to enjoy the blossoms along the Sumida River is with a river cruise. These are available during the day or the evening, but tend to book up fast.

3. Meguro River Cherry Blossom Festival

March 19 to 31
The river from Ikejiri-ōhashi Station to Meguro Station
Canal walk with lanterns

cherry blossom festival in meguro river
The Meguro River is photogenic, no matter the weather conditions. | Photo by Getty Images

One of the most famous spots for hanami in Tokyo, the Meguro River has a canalside walk that will fill you with a newfound love for cherry blossoms — no matter how much you’ve seen them before. There will be several festivals on the weekends, and food trucks in parks along the riverside.

Nakameguro is especially known for being a couples’ spot, so if you’re looking for a romantic evening stroll, this is the perfect place to pick. Although the cherry trees are beautiful during the day, they are particularly stunning in the early evening as the sun sets and they are illuminated.

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4. Chiyoda Cherry Blossom Festival

March 22 to April 2 (edit: extended to April 7)
Kitanomaru Park and Chidorigafuchi Park
Imperial Palace and boats

Pink clouds of cherry blossoms along the sloping sides of the moat at Chidorigafuchi.
Chidorigafuchi is part of the Imperial Palace moat (which was once Edo Castle’s moat). | Photo by Getty Images

Chidorigafuchi mixes history with beauty, as this section of the Imperial Palace moat bursts with cherry blossoms come spring. You can take a rowboat out onto the water, to see the sprays of blooms from beneath. On land, there is a 700m-long tunnel of some 250 Somei-yoshino trees, which are illuminated in the evenings throughout the festival. The boats are out till late during the festival.

5. Koganei Cherry Blossom Festival

March 23 to 24 (illuminations till April 14)
Koganei Park
Spacious park with performances

For a park with space and cherry blossoms, go farther afield. | Photo by Getty Images

Koganei is a lot bigger than your regular Tokyo park, so has more room for picnic blankets and stages for live music. Expect a range of performances over the event period — which lasts for a busy two days. While the festival may be short, you can take a glance at the blooming cherry blossoms at any time during the season.

6. Edo Fukagawa Sakura Festival

March 16 to April 7
Monzen-Nakacho
Boat rides and illuminations

Avoid the crowds by jumping on a boat. | Photo by Koto Ward Tourism Association

Want to catch the view of cherry blossoms on a traditional boat? Head to the tranquil neighborhood of Monzen-Nakacho. The river there will be brimming with wasen (traditional Japanese boats) on offer for ¥1,000; no need to book in advance but you’ll need to get there early.

If traditional isn’t your thing, then consider a motorboat ride from the same spot. Apart from riding the river, you can also check out the illuminations, food stalls, and entertainment — all with a side of beautiful pink petals.

7. Midtown Blossom

March 15 to April 14
Tokyo Midtown
Fancy picnics and skyscrapers

Cherry trees illuminated at night next to Roppongi Hills
Photo by istock.com/kanzilyou

The Tokyo Midtown area is fancy all year round but it gets an extra coat of glamour during the sakura season. Take the chance to see cherry blossoms along a 200-meter-long avenue, and special events in and outside of the nearby shopping complexes. There will be premium picnics on offer — for a premium price — and the cherry trees will be lit up when the sun goes down.

8. Rikugien Gardens: A Mystical Weeping Cherry

March 16 to 24 (extra dates added: March 29 to 31)
Rikugien Gardens
A cherry blossom tree with a twist

weeping cherry blossoms in the Rikugien
Weeping cherry tree at Rikugien. | Photo by istock.com/RYUYA HORIGUCHI

You’ve probably seen the typical cherry tree, but have you seen a weeping one? Rikugien Gardens holds a night-time illumination event every year to brighten up its giant cherry blossom tree. You can visit both at night and in the day. Note: Tickets after dusk are more expensive.

9. Ark Hills Cherry Blossom Festival

April 5 to 7
Spain-zaka, Ark Hills
Perfect for an evening stroll

roppongi cherry blossoms
Photo by Gregory Lane

For a quieter cherry blossom viewing experience, you may want to saunter down the hill called Spain-zaka, near Ark Hills in Roppongi. It’s not as well-known or as popular as other places — mainly because there’s nowhere to place a picnic mat — but it’s still spectacular. The area will have a festival for around three days, but the street will be lit up throughout the flowering period.

10. Nihonbashi Sakura Festival

March 15 to April 7
Nihonbashi
Illuminations and unique menus

While you won’t find rows and rows of cherry trees in Nihonbashi, you will find cherry blossom-themed installations and illuminations, as well as some special menu items at local restaurants. The festival is called Sakura Fes Nihonbashi, and lasts for most of the flowering period.

Bonus: Hadano Sakura Festival (Kanagawa)

March 22 to April 9
Hadano, Kanagawa
Pink mountains

Hadano is around an hour from central Tokyo, in Kanagawa Prefecture, but it’s worth the trip for the 6.2 km promenade (Hadano Sakura Michi) featuring — you guessed it — cherry trees.

There are hundreds and hundreds of pink trees along the promenade, and even more near Hadano Culture Park. During the festival, these trees will be lit up at night. If you feel like a bit more of a walk, there will be illuminations at the top of Mount Kōbō, stretching to its neighbor Mount Gongen.

Tokyo cherry blossom festival FAQs

When is the best time to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo?

Cherry blossoms are hard to predict and only last around two weeks, but they usually start blooming from mid-March to early April. Festivals tend to coincide with predicted bloom dates, so make sure to check our current Tokyo cherry blossom forecast for the latest updates. For elsewhere in Japan, check our Japan cherry blossom forecast.

Where is the best place to see the cherry blossoms in Tokyo?

Tokyo is large and cherry blossom spots are bountiful — check out our full list of Tokyo sakura spots if you don’t believe us. Overall, though, the best places to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo are: Ueno Park, Yoyogi Park, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Inokashira Park, and Meguro River (to name a few).

What’s the most famous cherry blossom festival in Tokyo?

The most famous cherry blossom festival in Tokyo is either the Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival or the Chiyoda Cherry Blossom Festival. The former is famous for its long path with arches of sakura overhead, and the latter for the iconic shot of swan boats on the Chidorigafuchi Moat.

Where is the best cherry blossom festival in Japan?

If you don’t mind traveling to get your cherry blossom fix, there are plenty of areas that have incredible festivals with more space (and trees) than Tokyo. Our top picks include the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival in the north of Japan, Nijo Castle Sakura Festival in Kyoto, and Fuji-Kawaguchiko Cherry Blossom Festival in Yamanashi.

Traveling around Japan? We’ve got recommendations for the top blossom spots in Kyoto, as well as for nearby Osaka.

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Post first published in March 2018. Last updated on March 12, 2024, by Alex Ziminski.

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